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The Nation

on Feb 25, 2014 - 11:19 AM ET
Ornitholigical Park

The Sochi Olympics, which began with the hashtag #sochiproblems, ended with Russia winning the medal count and enjoying a dose of national pride and international prestige. But now the authorities will be left to figure out what to do with 206 stadiums and assorted buildings, and residents will have to deal with the “Olympic...

on Feb 20, 2014 - 17:34 PM ET
Cossack soldiers

Of the 500 Cossacks patrolling Olympic Sochi, only one could talk to me. As I waited for two hours at the temporary quarters of these throwback warriors for Valery Vasilievich, deputy head of the Kuban Cossack Host, to arrive, I started chatting with a young Cossack named Oleg, who had traded his sheepskin hat and wool uniform for a polo shirt and short shorts on his day off. As he poked at his iPad, we talked about the cost of iPhones, the upcoming Canada-America hockey...

on Feb 18, 2014 - 17:53 PM ET
Pussy Riot

By now you’ve probably heard the news: Pussy Riot ended up behind bars again, albeit briefly, in Olympic Sochi. Leading workers’ rights activist Semyon Simonov told The Nation he was showing Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova around downtown Sochi on Tuesday when law enforcement officers roughly detained their group of nine people and carted them off to a police station, ostensibly to question them over the theft of a purse at their hotel....

Sports, World
on Feb 13, 2014 - 18:18 PM ET
Putin

Toward the end of December, Russia dominated the news cycle for days with a series of high-profile acts of mercy. First, President Vladimir Putin pardoned the country’s “number-one political prisoner,” his old foe Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Then the jailed Pussy Riot members and the Arctic 30 went free, along with 2,000 other nonviolent prisoners (not 20,000, as some initially reported), under amnesty legislation proposed by Putin. Pundits called it a “...

Environment, World
on Feb 11, 2014 - 17:46 PM ET
Carina Vogt

Women competed in the ski jump for the first time at a Winter Olympics on Tuesday. So far, their uteruses seem to be intact.

The inclusion of women’s ski jumping ninety years after men first competed in the sport at the inaugural Winter Olympics marks the end of a long struggle against those like International Ski Federation (FIS) president and IOC member Gian Franco Kasper, who said in 2005 that ski jumping “seems not to be appropriate for ladies from...

on Feb 11, 2014 - 11:06 AM ET
Sochi infrastructure

The $51 billion Sochi Olympics are already infamous for being the most expensive Games in history, and now 13,000 fellow journalists, including me, are here to see the results of all that spending.

So far, the foreign press has lambasted the Russian government for the huge budget expenditures while chronicling the slapstick comedies waiting to happen in unfinished hotel rooms. The Russian government’s reaction has been typically knee-jerk, with Prime Minister...